Professional Invention Protection

If your enterprise is involved with the development, manufacture, use, or sale of new products, services, or technology then you should be concerned about patent rights: Both your own and those of others. Patent rights issues are time sensitive and the failure to professionally address them can lead to significant legal expenses and a great loss in the value of your business enterprise.

Registered U.S. patent attorney David M. Kleiman helps businesses, entrepreneurs, and inventors with premium patent law services for many different technologies. Quality of service is exceptional and fees are very competitive. Call for an initial consultation about patent services.

  • U.S. & International Patent Applications
  • Patentabilty & Infringement Investigations
  • Commercial Transactions (Licensing & Transfers)
  • Patent Litigation & Dispute Resolution
  • Patent Portfolio Development & Management

A Basic Guide

U.S. patent protection is an extremely important consideration for any business involved in the use, manufacture or sale of modern products, services or processes in the United States. The owner of a U.S. patent has, for a limited time, the exclusive right to use and make all sales in the U.S. of the patented invention (e.g. a machine, process, article of manufacture, or composition of matter). Many categories of products, services, or processes are of a type which could be inventions subject to patent protection. Software systems, medical devices, electronic devices, housewares, apparel, and manufacturing processes are just some examples of the types of things which can be patented if they qualify as inventions.

Because the patent owner can legally stop others from using, making and selling the patented invention, a patent owner can make more sales, and charge a higher price for the patented invention, than what they otherwise could if competitors could legally use or sell the invention. This means potentially very high profits on many sales of the patented invention during the life of the patent, which will help the owner more quickly recover the development investment made and greatly increase the value of the business. Even if a patent owner does not themselves, use, make or sell the patented invention, they are still legally entiled to collect at least a reasonable royalty from anyone else who does so without the patent owner's permission.

A Patent's Effect On Price

A common example of the effect of patent protection on price is the sale of "brand name" drugs at high prices. The patent protection on brand name drugs is what allows the company who first invented the drug to sell it at a high premium price without competition. However, once the patent protection ends competitors enter the market with a "generic" version of the drug at a lower price, taking sales away from the brand name drug, and possibly forcing the manufacturer of the brand name drug to lower its prices in order to maintain sales.

While nobody likes paying high prices, the reality is that without the availability of patent protection and the potential to charge higher prices for at least a limited time to recover development costs a business may be unable to justify the risk of investing money to develop new products. This is particularly so in areas where the cost of research and development is very high (as in many millions of dollars), such as with pharmaceuticals.

The higher price consumers may have to pay for a limited time due to patent protection is the price society has decided to pay for encouraging business to invest in new technologies and products.

Profit Considerations

Since bringing a new product to market is often a very expensive and risky investment for a business, many times it can only be justified if there is a potentially very high profit to be made that justifies taking the risk. Accordingly, the availability of patent protection is often a critical factor to consider when deciding whether an investment in a new product is justified. Without patent protection a business that introduces a new product may not be able to make enough sales at high enough prices to generate profits sufficient to justify the risk of an investment in the new product. Effective patent protection however is often a difficult thing to obtain. The U.S. patent laws can be complex in their application. Individuals with ideas for a new product are particularly vulnerable to being sold services related to patent protection that are ineffective and offer little if any real value.

Liability Considerations

Businesses involved in the manufacture and sale of products also need to be concerned about liability for infringing someone else’s patent. Patent infringement is strict liability, meaning that even if a business has no awareness of someone else’s patent, if it imports, makes, or sells a product that infringes the patent then it can still be sued for patent infringement. The business may then have to pay significant money damages to the patent owner and stop selling the product, not to mention pay legal fees associated with defending against such a lawsuit. Because of this, prior to making a significant investment in bringing a new product to market it is generally considered prudent to investigate and assess any potential patent infringement problems.

Key Highlights

U.S. patent law is a complex area of business law. For detailed information about how the U.S. patent laws may impact your business venture arrange for an initial consultation with registered U.S. patent attorney David M. Kleiman. What follows are some general highlights of U.S. patent law.


United States patents protect new and useful processes, machines, articles of manufacture, and compositions of matter. It is often the only way to legally protect a new functional product against copying by competitors.

A U.S. patent gives its owner the "exclusive" right to make, use, offer to sell, or sell the patented invention within the United States, or import the patented invention into the United States, (hereinafter collectively referred to as just "make and sell"). If somebody other than the owner infringes a valid patent by making or selling the claimed invention of patent without permission from the owner(s), then the owner(s) can sue the infringing party in U.S. federal court. If successful a patent owner will be entitled to an award of money, not less than a reasonable royalty, for any infringement that happened after notice was given in compliance with the patent marking and notice statute. The patent owner may also be able to obtain a court order against further infringement.

A U.S. patent is not a grant of permission to the owner to make and sell the claimed invention. Rather it is simply the right to exclude, or stop, others from making and selling the invention. This is important to understand, because it means you can own patent rights in an invention, but still not be allowed to make and sell the invention, if to do so would be a violation of somebody else’s patent rights, or otherwise be breaking the law.

The only way to get a U.S. patent is to file an application with the United States Patent & Trademark Office, which is an agency of the U.S. government.

Under United States law it is the inventor(s) who initially owns the right to file an application for, and receive, a U.S. patent. The inventor(s) can assign their rights to file a patent application and receive a patent to someone else, such as their employer.

If there is more than one inventor (in other words there are co-inventors), then each co-inventor is a joint owner of the patent. In the absence of any agreement to the contrary, each of the joint owners of a patent may make and sell the invention, without the consent of and without accounting to the other owners. For this reason, there should be a written agreement between co-inventors as to ownership and control of the invention.

There are three basic types of U.S. patents:

  1. Design Patent

  2. A design patent protects the new, original and ornamental design of an article of manufacture. The ornamental design of an article is its visual appearance, such as the unique shape of a bottle. Note that only “ornamental” designs are protected. This means that the design being protected cannot be dictated by the functional aspects of the article. A design patent provides protection for fifteen (15) years from the date it issues.

  3. Plant Patent

  4. Certain types of plants that have been asexually reproduced are eligible for plant patent protection. A plant that is asexually reproduced is one that is reproduced by means other than seeds, such as by the rooting of cuttings, layering, budding, grafting, inarching etc… Other types of plants that do not qualify for plant patent protection may be eligible for protection under another set of laws called the Plant Variety Protection Act, or possibly through a utility patent. A plant patent provides protection from the date the patent issues until a date twenty (20) years after the patent application was filed, assuming all of the required maintenance fees are paid.

  5. Utility Patent

  6. If an invention eligible for patent protection is not just the ornamental design of an article of manufacture, or an asexually reproduced plant, then it will be protected by a utility patent. Utility patents cover numerous types of inventions. Everything from simple mechanical devices like a paper clip, to the most complex electrical circuits found in today’s supercomputers, to the chemical formulas of prescription drugs, to biotechnology patents on genetically engineered animals. The utility patent is by far the most common type of patent. A utility patent provides protection from the date the patent issues until a date twenty (20) years after the patent application was filed, assuming all of the required maintenance fees are paid.

While an inventor is not required to use the services of a registered patent attorney or agent when applying for a U.S. patent, due to the complexity of the patent laws and regulations it is generally highly recommended to do so. Note, a person must be a registered patent attorney or agent in order to represent an inventor before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

While there are exceptions, it often costs at least several thousand dollars, and takes at least a year to obtain the issuance of a U.S. patent. This expense is generally made up of Patent Office filing and issuance fees, patent drawing expenses, and patent attorney expenses. Exactly how much it costs depends upon the particular invention, the area of technology, and the type of patent being sought.

A U.S. patent is only good in the United States. Each country has its own laws for granting patent protection. If you want exclusive rights in other countries to make and sell an invention, then you will need to separately seek patent protection in such countries. While there are treaties between countries to facilitate this, it can be very expensive, and there are strict time limits for doing so.

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★ Utility & Design Patent Applications
★ U.S. & International Applications
★ Patentability Investigations
★ Patent Infringement Investigations
★ Patent Litigation
★ Patent Licensing & Sales
★ And More . . .
Patent services are available worldwide to businesses at all stages of growth, as well as individual inventors, for inventions in a wide variety of technologies:
★ Software Patents
★ Computer Technology Patents
★ Blockchain Technology Patents
★ Robotics Patents
★ Manufacturing Patents
★ Consumer Product Patents
★ Medical Device Patents
★ Telecommunications Patents
★ Sustainable Product Patents
★ And More . . .
For Consultations Call
(818) 484-3220